Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Western Influence.

So I officially know this info first hand:  watching 17 Western flicks within a 4 week period is going to influence your work and that is the entire point of my movie marathon.  Below are two examples.  You may recognize Robo Wagon from previous posts.  One thing I learned from this particular embroidery piece - coffee used to stain fabric will absorb into your hands and then move along to hijack your bloodstream, making your heart feel like you ingested oh...about 3 cups of truckstop coffee.  I remained very motivated during it's making.  Dino Cowboy Standoff had a much more calming process.  I'm kicking around the idea of a collage for a third work.

 Robo Wagon, embroidery on muslin, 8"x10", 2012
Dino Cowboy Standoff, pastel, 8"x10", 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

American Youth at Sea

American Youth at Sea.  Check. This is panel #3 (#1-American Youth Airborne & #2-American Youth on Land).  Just your average painting depicting the futile battle with life that we must sometimes fight.
 American Youth at Sea, 50"x34", oil, 2012
 Blasting hula detail.
Octo-shark detail.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Second Installment: The Western Review is in.

I may have slowed my roll but the Western-watchin' Extravaganza continues.  The ferocity of my movie appetite is not as great but just as necessary.  I frequented a different library branch for this batch of flicks, I needed a new setting for phase two.  

Opening scene...annnndd...ACTION!

The library was packed.  And loud.  Did I mention I was in a library?  I was unfamiliar with the layout of the building and it took me a minute to meander through the conversing masses and find the DVD section.  "Excuse me, scuse me..sorry, pardon..excuse me...here we go....pardon, hi there, excuse me... sorry, just need to get right where you are leaning and talking to your friend there, thanks."  Finally.  I snagged the first couple of Westerns I saw that fit into my criteria:  pre-1980, no tv shows, and no musicals.  I was outta there.  I skirted along the perimeter wall to avoid interrupting any conversations or worse yet get sucked into one.  In my opinion, the library is not  a place to make friends, I'm there to feed my brain.  I made it to the check out line but not without being hit on by a hulked-up Little Richard.  When I looked back at my reflection in his gold tooth, I thought...hey, I'll take any compliment.  Any time.  Anywhere.

Let the movies roll...

Hombre (1967) Paul Newman
We've got another stagecoach situation on our hands.  I will never take this mode of transport because it seems that you will always be fated for an attack of some sort.  Hombre is no exception.  One of my fav things about this flick (besides young Paul Newman's fine face) is leading lady, Jessie's hair.  You could always tell the desperation of the situation by her auburn locks which progressively got wilder throughout the film.  By the end, it looked like rats had taken up residence on her head.  One of the best lines, "Eh, Hombre...a compliment of your shooting.  You have put a hole in me".

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) Charles Bronson & Henry Fonda
I will never look at a harmonica in the same way.  If you ever find yourself in some second rate whiskey joint or perhaps a dusty ole desert landscape and you hear the lonely wail of a harmonica, take cover...some code red shit is about to go down.  My favorite line from the movie: 
Bronson:  "I saw 3 of these dusters a short time ago, they were waiting for a train.  Inside the dusters there were 3 men."
Robards:  "So?"
Bronson:  "Inside the men there were 3 bullets." 

Missouri Breaks (1976) Marlon Brando & Jack Nicholson
Dude...Brando AND Nicholson?  Yes, sir.  I could leave it at that but there's more...Randy Quaid makes an appearance to boot.  The movie poster reads:  "One steals.  One kills.  One dies".  And indeed they do.  Nicholson plays a horse thief and Brando plays this total space-cadet-shaman-assassin.  There are odd bouts of silliness that I found off putting for example in mid chase the characters would just Three Stooge it up or pull a Smokey and the Bandit move.  It just added to the weird factor.  

The Cowboys (1972) John Wayne
Why don't you hire a bunch of prepubescent boys to cowhand an epic cattle drive?  Cuz shit gets crazy and the little bastards turn into killing machines.  Indeed Mr. Wayne, school may be out but class is in session.

*****HALL OF LAME*****
I'm a huge believer of finishing a movie you begin but below are 2 movies that my soul rejected within the first 30 min. and would not allow my body to continue to view. 

Duel in the Sun ((1946) Gregory Peck
An orphaned girl who looks to be pushing 40 lands herself a sweet mansion-hacienda setup foster family-style.  By the second day she has already fallen in love with one brother and been molested by the other bro.  Click.  That's me hittin' eject.

Little Big Man (1970) Dustin Hoffman
Dustin Hoffman raised by Cherokees.  My wild-ass imagination can't even make that work. 

Even during a suckfest like Little Big Man, progress was made on Robo-Wagon.  I say 5 or 6 more Westerns and this bad boy just might be finished!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Western Review is in.

I've become obsessed with Western movies.  Anybody that has been within earshot of me in the last couple of weeks has been forced to hear me drone on about it...and for that I apologize.

Two weeks ago I walked into the same library that I went to as a kid.  It was just as I had remembered it...same layout, same smell, probably the same librarians behind the counters and the same drifters slouched in the chairs soaking up the free a/c.  I went in looking for something.  Fuel for some hunger I had.  I walked up and down the aisles reading titles but the books just weren't cuttin' it.  Dude...(sad face).

I got pissed when I remembered this scenario from past inspiration quests.  When desperately seeking out an answer 99.9% of the time the answer will not surface immediately upon request.  Oh no, you are on their time.  And you need answers so you just have to bite your lip and try not to be a pushy a-hole.  Answers like to sneak up on you like a predatory beast and startle the bejesus out of you when your guard is down.

And that is just what played out on this day at the library.  Every book I manhandled scurried away like a skittish woodland creature.  Hope for the guidance I craved was quickly swirling down the toilet.  Then BAM!!!  The Western DVD section jumped out from around the corner like a goddamn den of angry snakes.  Instantly I knew I had to ingest as many Westerns as possible.  I had no understanding of why, all I knew was that it had to be done.  

The Shootist  (1976) John Wayne
On a 5 bullet rating scale with 5 being the most awesome, I give this one 4.5 bullets.  The .5 is for the tears it made me cry.  Why did you have to go to gunslinger heaven JB Brooks?

Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971) James Garner 
Dude, on a scale of 0-awesome, SYLG reached mega stellar status.  Jimmy Garner was amazing as was every single individual that played a part in the film.  High-five and thanks for the laughs. 

True Grit (1969) John Wayne
You rocked my socks.  My first born, be it man child or of the female persuasion, will indeed be named Rooster Cogburn.  (Side note to future husband:  thank you for understanding the nameth of our babe). And oh yeah...this quote goes on my headstone:  "Well, it's the real article!  Genuine, double-rectified bust head.  Aged in the keg".

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) Humphrey Bogart
The T of the S.M. stretches the classification of a 'western'.  This film is also classified as an Action and/or Drama. Note to self on what makes a Western a Western in the case of this flick:  shoot out with banditos, train ambush, Mexico, gold prospectors, bar brawl, and a gila monster.  And I quote..."We don't need no badges.  I don't have to show you any stinking badges"...end quote.  (Originally from B. Travern's 1927 novel of the same title and later parodied in Blazing Saddles).

3 Godfathers (1948) John Wayne
Robert William Pedro Hightower is a silly name for a baby.  The movie was trite with a lot of flashing around of the bible.  As with most good Westerns it included a moral message but I could have done with a lot more gun-slingin' and way less baby-holdin'.

Shane (1953) Alan Ladd
Hands down...rad.  Best flick on the planet.  All other movies, Western and otherwise, can jump in a lake.

Stagecoach (1939) John Wayne
Kick ass.  Major commentary on morals and society.  Badass outlaw meets ousted prostitute and they live happily ever after.  As it should be.  

Shenandoah (1965) James Stewart
I hate war.  I love this movie.

Fistful of Dollars (1964) Clint Eastwood
Possibly the best intro music ever.  The movie itself...not so much but Eastwood did indeed single-handedly manipulate and collapse two warring dirtbag outfits.  He burned that cesspool of a town to the ground. 

The Baron of Arizona (1950) Vincent Price 
V. Price's booming white-man voice and highly manicured facial hair can only translate into a shady creepster character of some sort in any film.  The BofA was no exception.  The Baron was a code red d-bag from the get go but some how he comes out on top in the end.  All in all this flick gets 2 pistols down.

The Furies (1950) Barbara Stanwyck and Walter Huston
Snooze.  Fest.

The first spawn of my Western-movie-watchin' extravaganza is Robo Wagon which can be seen in-progress below.  It is an embroidery piece done on muslin soaked in coffee grounds.  I have many more flicks to watch.  The beauty of it now is that I can sew while soaking up some Western movie eye candy.  Multi-tasking just got awesome.